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Bats Bounce Back Under Gross

The coaching switch has proved successful thus far. Since replacing hitting coach Milt Thompson with Greg Gross last week, the Phillies have gone undefeated in 5 games. The defending National League champions had been struggling to score runs this season, but have averaged 6.8 runs per game since the change. The team averaged 4.49 runs per game through their first 95 contests this season.

Also much improved is the overall team batting average. In the 5 games since Gross took over, the Phillies have posted a .320 batting average. Under the coach stylings of Milt Thompson the Phillies were batting just .254.

Gross, who had more than 700 plate appearances as a pinch hitter in his career and is the Phillies all-time leader in pinch hits, with 117 (more than twice the next closest total), has also helped the team's pinch hitters as well. The Phillies are 4-for-8 (.500 avg) in pinch hit appearances since Gross was brought on as the hitting instructor. Under Thompson, Phillies pinch hitters batted .144.

Certainly, the offensive improvements could all be coincidence. But for those who long hoped for the Phillies to mix up the team personnel, in order to obtain some better results...the team made a small change and the production has picked up. If there's a spot to place credit right now, it's with Gross. And, on the other hand, if the lineup's output recedes at any point, Gross would be first in line for that credit as well.
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